Business & UN

Global business calls for new climate change framework

  • 10 December 2007

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) brought together approximately 350 leaders from companies, governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations today to review the issues at stake during the UN Climate Change Conference and to suggest ways forward.

The event, Bali Global Business Day, sent a powerful message that business wanted a successful completion of a new global climate change framework beyond 2012.

“Businesses around the world are convinced that climate change is one of the major challenges of our time,” said Guy Sebban, Secretary General of ICC. “Today’s event brought together the major actors from a variety of sectors in order to reinforce commitments to address climate change and help turn dialogue into actions.”

Panellists and speakers at the day-long event included Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia; Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency; Björn Stigson, President of WBCSD; Laurent Corbier, Chair, ICC Commission on Environment and Energy and Vice-President of Sustainable Development and Continuous Improvement at Areva; Nick Campbell, Chair, ICC Task Force on Climate Change and Environment Manager at Arkema; Preston Chiaro, Chief Executive of the Energy Products Group at Rio Tinto; Gert-Jan Koopman, Director of DG Enterprise at the European Commission; and Andrei Marcu, President of the International Emissions Trading Association.

Among the subjects discussed were how business could become more engaged in the process of developing a post-2012 framework; what business and markets need to continue making progress in addressing climate change; opportunities in carbon-free technologies and energy efficiency; and how to get markets, trade and investment frameworks working in concert to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Leading companies from a variety of sectors detailed their strategies to address climate change.

“Businesses have already made major changes in the way they operate, introducing new processes, products and services that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And while business recognizes the challenges, we also see opportunities for progress and for new markets in the move to cleaner energy, deployment and development of technologies, and greener lifestyles,” said Mr Corbier, who moderated a panel session entitled “Towards zero-carbon technologies.”

Two press conferences provided journalists with business perspectives on the issues at the UN conference, which kicked off on 3 December, and on the progress of negotiations during its first week.

ICC is maintaining a highly visible and active presence at the UN Climate Change Conference with a delegation of some 60 business people and four events. In addition to the Global Business Day, ICC will host three side events this week: “Bridging the gap in climate change technology,” “Sectoral approaches to climate change,” and “Long-term approaches to climate change.”